Still not able to meet meaningful use this year? CMS recently announced that it has reopened submission and extended the deadline for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals to submit a hardship exception application for not demonstrating “Meaningful Use” of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT). The CMS hardship application can be found here.
Under the HITECH Act, eligible hospitals, critical access hospitals, and eligible professionals had to demonstrate “meaningful use” of a CEHRT, or face reductions in their Medicare payment. Under certain circumstances, the Secretary of Health and Human Services has discretion to consider hardship exceptions on a case-by-case basis to avoid payment penalties, including issues related to difficulties with vendors obtaining certification.
The original hardship exception application deadlines of April 1, 2014 (for eligible hospitals) and July 1, 2014 (for eligible professionals) were extended to November 30, 2014.
According to CMS, the reopened hardship exception application submission period applies to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals that:
- Have been unable to fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT due to delays in 2014 Edition CEHRT availability; AND
- Eligible professionals who were unable to attest by October 1, 2014, and eligible hospitals that were unable to attest by July 1, 2014, using the flexibility options provided in the CMS 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Rule.
For more information about the EHR Incentive Programs and meaningful use please contact Elana Zana.